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Stimulus Bonds for Genesee County, MI May Go Unclaimed

Officials in Genesee County, Mi say they have not received any applications for more than $60 million in available federal stimulus bonds. The deadline is today, unless state lawmakers approve an extension to July 1.

The low-interest loans were made available in June 2009 to hard-hit communities to help stimulate the economy by making money available for special projects and developments. The deadline to draw down the funds is December 31 of this year. If the proposed July 1 deadline is approved by lawmakers, anyone interested in using the funds would have to go through the state.

For now, all applications have to go through the Genesee County Economic Development Corp. County officials oppose the July 1 deadline and actually are hoping the federal government will extend the end-of-year deadline, but until then they’re willing to help push projects through as quickly as possible, Genesee County Controller George Martini said.

Of the at least $60 million available, $53 million of it is in tax-exempt facility bonds available for private borrowers that can be used for commercial and industrial projects that usually would not qualify for tax-exempt financing — such as large manufacturing plants, distribution centers, hotels or research parks.

As of last week, there had been no requests in Genesee County to borrow any of the $53 million in facility bonds, said Janice Karcher, who heads up economic development at the chamber.

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